Australian aid is delivered through various bilateral, regional and multi-lateral mechanisms including partnerships for development and country or regional development programs. A number of things influence the way Australian aid is directed into the Islands of the South Pacific including the overall approach of the POWIB.
posted on 2011-11-23 03:25 UTC by Ms. Angela Williamson
RE: Capacity building
The Pacific region consists of 21 countries states and territories, all islands of one sort or another, with high biodiversity values and a strong cultural association with the natural world. Pacific Island Countries (PICs) are strong supporters of many Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) such as the CBD, where the PoWIB provides a framework for addressing biodiversity conservation issues.
Capacity development is a critical enabler for the implementation of MEAs and achievement of conservation benefits. It is one of the five programme implementation pillars for the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), the leading environmental organisation for the Pacific region. Limitations in capacity have been identified as one of the main issues in the Pacific region, further exacerbated by high staff turnover. SPREP supports capacity development among Member Countries by assisting the integration of biodiversity and other environmental issues into national environmental policy frameworks and sustainable development plans.
PICs face an acute lack of technical, financial, legal, institutional and human capacity to effectively deal with MEA obligations. Effective compliance falls under two main categories: 1) participation in negotiations (preparations of positions that reflect the countries’ interests and preparations of negotiation strategies for eliciting desired outcomes during negotiations); and 2) implementation of MEAs’ provisions. Problems faced by PICs are shared by other Small Island Developing States around the world: small administrations mean that a single government employee may be responsible for attending meetings, coordinating implementation and handling the reporting and other obligations of all the MEAs that the country is a Party. Due to the high number of MEAs and related meetings and training events, staff may end up spending much of their time attending these meetings to the detriment of implementation work in their country. In 2009 the EU initiated a four year capacity building project entitled “Capacity Building related to MEAs in African, Caribbean and Pacific Countries”, with the Pacific component based at SPREP. The objective is to strengthen and enhance the endogenous capacity of PICs to effectively implement and comply with MEAs and related commitments, and thereby improve management of the environment and natural resources. This addresses poverty alleviation in a sustainable development perspective, improve peoples’ livelihoods, and addresess the adverse effects of climate change, loss of biodiversity, drought, land degradation, hazardous waste and other threats to the environment.
posted on 2011-12-07 02:03 UTC by Dr Jill Key, Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme